2011 NFL Mock Draft: A.J. Green To Carolina, Christian Ponder To Seattle

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2011 NFL Mock Draft: A.J. Green To Carolina, Christian Ponder To Seattle
Christian Ponder

Even before I saw the ESPN video of Jon Gruden stumping quarterback Cam Newton to call a play from the Auburn play-book, I thought that the Carolina Panthers should take wide receiver AJ Green from Georgia with the first pick (assuming that the Panthers can't trade down).

The Panthers still have the foundation to contend for the postseason.  The problem for Carolina has been a one-dimensional passing attack, which has limited the effectiveness of their running-game. 

Quarterback Jake Delhomme was no longer effective.  The fact is though, Steve Smith was Carolina's only go-to target in recent years.

The last ten years of the NFL has seen a higher frequency of successful rookie quarterbacks, but it's hard to imagine that either Gabbert or Newton will be the next.

It's also hard to see either Cam Newton or Blaine Gabbert stepping into the NFC South as a rookie and leading the Panthers.  Second year quarterback Jimmy Claussen, at least, has a season of experience.

In other news:

According to Josh Katzowitz of Sportline.com, Arkansas quarterback Ryan Mallet has admitted to NFL clubs that he has abused drugs.

This news could mean that Mallet will be on the board as late as the 4th round.

I know, I know ... honesty should count for something, but no team will want to invest a top pick and money into a player who could relapse or is not considered mentally ready to a lead the team.

Honesty is admirable because it can prevent another person from taking on something unexpected.

Frankly, I've known people who were fired for being honest about a mistake, because their honesty suggested that they didn't care enough about having the job.

Strange but true.

Mallet was already drawing comparisons to Ryan Leaf, and his admission seems to have sealed the deal with the Leaf analogies.

Nevertheless, I could see the Oakland Raiders, Cincinnati Bengals, or Dallas Cowboys selecting him.  The Raiders love talented players regardless of baggage, while Jerry Jones of the Cowboys loves former Razorback players, and the Bengals could be desperate for a quarterback.

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